Picture Me! A Portrait Collaboration between 2nd and 7th Grade Students
By Carolina Bermudez, Alda Arazi, and Muriel Stallworth
This year, the art department was motivated to find opportunities for cross-divisional collaboration in the art studio. After brainstorming what sort of project could become a tradition in art class and inspire students to look forward to collaborating together artistically, we came up with the idea of having the 2nd and 7th Graders create portraits of each other. This seemed like the perfect way to promote collaboration, as well as to spark new friendship among the students. A portrait involves the representation of someone, and in order to represent your subject well, you need to get to know a person to show their personality in the portrait. We paired each 2nd Grade artist with a 7th Grade artist and began the exploration.
To launch this project, both grades studied portraiture and then designed a set of questions that they could ask to get to know their subjects better. The students then came together - many of them meeting for the first time - and they conducted their interviews, took pictures together, and sketched each other. Next, the students began painting their portraits.
This week, we finally opened an exhibit on the first floor of the North Building to celebrate the completion of the students’ project, where they could see the final results of the work. Both groups of students were very happy to have a portrait painted of themselves and reflected positively on the experience.
“J'ai bien aimé être dessinée car c'est intéressant de voir ce qu'elle pense de ma personnalité et comment elle la représente.” -Emma, 7th Grade
This was a wonderful experience for our students. Both for the older and the younger ones enjoyed working together, and many of the partners now say hello to each other in the hallways. We are looking forward to this project's becoming an annual tradition in the art department!